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Friday, June 22, 2012

Slippery slope argument against marriage equality is predictable

ONE Magazine Aug. 1953 'Homosexual marriage?' cover headline PHOTO: ONE Magazine was ahead of its time when it mentioned the idea of "homosexual marriage" in 1953 long before "gay marriage" or same-sex marriage became a cause of some gay liberationists. (See James T. Sears, PhD, "1953: When ONE Magazine, Headlined 'Homosexual Marriage,'" posted Aug. 11, 2003 and my previous posts OSU W. Dorr Legg homosexual marriage 1953 vs. CA Prop 8 2010 (8/22/10), Gay free speech victory 50th anniversary (1/18/08) and Jack Baker gay marriage theory was right (4/8/09))

I tried to resist replying to a predictable anti-gay letter, but I couldn't because there was something about it that deserved a reply:

Multiple letters by one reader started out by politely asking why marriage equality supporters are silent about polygamy. After several replies by offended readers, his latest letter predictably tried to use the specious "slippery slope" argument.

Apparently, he fears that applying existing marriage laws equally to all citizens will force society down a slippery slope to accepting other unrelated things.

Ironically, interracial marriage might still be illegal today if only racists had thought to stoke the fear that it would inevitably lead to gay marriage! Instead, inevitably marriage equality won.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "The 'slippery slope' argument against gay marriage is specious," Gazette-Times, posted June 21, 2012)

On the same day another letter was printed by Tom Johnston, "Letter: Same-sex marriage leading to polygamy is an illogical idea," Gazette-Times, posted Jun. 21, 2012. Tom Johnston has been locally active in publically supporting his lesbian daughter. Other previous letters and links to previous posts include the following:

Monday, June 18, 2012

OSU Lavender graduation ceremony keynoted by Jeff Kenney

OSU Lavender gradation program 2012 keynote speaker Jeff Kenney

PHOTO: close up of the main program for the Oregon State University Lavender Celebration 2012 June 14th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM at The LaSells Stewart Center. It included a picture of the keynote speaker Jeffrey M Kenney Coordinator of LGBT Outreach and Services, Department of Intercultural Student Services, Division of Student Affairs 245 Snell Hall (541)737-6342) who recently replaced Steven Leider. Leider decided to seek a Masters Degree while working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant pursuing a Master of Arts in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program of the Oregon State University Women Studies Department led by Susan Shaw. (See my previous posts OSU LGBT Services Jeff Kenney replaces Steven Leider (6/2/12) and OSU School of Language, Culture and Society is perfect for OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund (2/19/12))

OSU Lavender gradation program 2012 list of graduates PHOTO: the program included a list of OSU graduates being honored by one person special to them at the OSU Lavender gradation program 2012. A total of 12 graduating students were honored, including only 2 science majors. The ratio of representation for all majors seemed to be skewed given that OSU is a university dominated by forestry, engineering, agricultural and science majors. If one conservatively estimates that 3% of all graduates have a minority sexual orientation or gender identity, then potentially there could have easily been 100 LGBT graduates attending. A 12 percent turnout for an event like this is pretty good given that many graduates are busy moving out of town. (These numbers were calculated given that the overall number of graduates from Oregon State University this year was 4,979 and approximately 70 percent were expected to attend the main formal graduation ceremony rather than skipping it. See Gail Cole, "Not your typical commencement," Gazette-Times posted Sunday, June 17, 2012.) The potential I see in the future is to raise the participation level of engineering, science and agriculture majors, who probably all claim to be too busy to participate.

Despite my health concerns after my recent stroke, I was able to attend the 2012 Oregon State University Lavender Celebration (formerly known as the Lavender Graduation) June 14th, 7:00 - 9:00 PM at The LaSells Stewart Center. I thank Steven Leider for driving me there because I am having a very hard time navigating in 3-D space as I go blind. I was surprised to be in a building I've visited for 30 years and feeling lost walking from the auditorium to the men's room. Fortunately, the stress of attending only caused me a few muscle contractures that I was able to recover from the next day.

I am very glad that I was able to attend and hear directly from recent graduates. I had heard about this tradition, which was started a few years ago, but I had never attended. This event complimented nicely the other special gradation ceremonies taking place across campus that are put on by individual departments to enhance the more impersonal main gradation ceremony. Of course despite the main graduation ceremony being more impersonal, and unlike other large universities, OSU has continued their tradition of giving each graduate his or her actual diploma. This year there was also an excellent keynote speech by the First Lady Michelle Obama for the main graduation event.

Also see:

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Don't Cali-fornicate Oregon and HP annexation history

headline 'H-P executive predicts 700 new jobs' Gazette-Times Aug. 8, 1974, p. 2

PHOTO: Hewlett-Packard's plans to build a calculator plant and research facility in Corvallis is described in a newspaper article by John Atkins, "H-P executive predicts 700 new jobs," Gazette-Times Aug. 8, 1974, p. 2. (See previous post HP and Corvallis newspaper history (3/11/09) about the move of the Hewlett-Packard calculator division to Corvallis in 1975 and see the the front page in previous post Obama flubs AIDS prevention by recommending "contraception" (1/22/09))

Gazette-Times newspapers from Aug. 8, 1974 Nixon resigns and Jan. 21, 2009 Obama a new era -- shows paper has shrunk from 15 inches wide to 11 inches wide

PHOTO: Gazette-Times newspapers, August 8, 1974 President Nixon resigns and Jan. 21, 2009 Obama, "A new era." (See previous post Obama flubs AIDS prevention by recommending "contraception" (1/22/09))

My latest letter:

It is ironic that that only a fifth of voters opposed the recent McFadden Annexation, given how 38 years ago Corvallis citizens vigorously fought annexing portions of the same farm to build the first Hewlett-Packard calculator and handheld computer factory.

The Aug. 8, 1974, news headline announcing President Nixon's resignation pushed to page two a Gazette-Times story by John Atkins, "HP executive predicts 700 new jobs." Despite this impressive promise of good jobs, citizens were angered because they were still suffering from the consequences of an unplanned post-World War II building boom in Corvallis.

Anti-growth sentiments in the 1970s were expressed by a popular Oregon bumper sticker that said, "Don't Cali-fornicate Oregon," which humorously referred to California's hyper growth problems. This and the unpopular HP annexation caused Corvallis voters to demand a right to vote on all annexations.

Republicans unjustly blamed voters for scaring off new businesses in Corvallis during the Reagan recession. In fact, HP actually created thousands of jobs and Corvallis has remained a wonderful place to live, thanks to smart voters and good city planning. Hopefully, future citizens will not become complacent and permit unplanned growth to "Cali-fornicate" Corvallis again as it did 50 years ago.
(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Oh, how the times have changed toward new development," Gazette-Times, posted Jun. 14, 2012)

Some previous posts and links:

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Professional engineering magazine mentions gay computer pioneer

Cover of a book by Andrew Hodges, 'Alan Turing, The Enigma - The Centenary Edition,' Princeton University Press 2012

PHOTO: cover of a book by Andrew Hodges, "Alan Turing: The Enigma: The Centenary Edition," Princeton University Press, 2012 (Amazon Books link) Andrew Hodges is a fellow in mathematics at the University of Oxford.

Alan Turing (See Wikipedia), who was born in 1912 and died in 1954, was an English mathematician, logician, cryptanalyst, and computer scientist. He was highly influential in the development of computer science, providing a formalization of the concepts of "algorithm" and "computation" with the Turing machine, which played a significant role in the creation of the modern computer. Turing is widely considered to be the father of computer science and artificial intelligence.

The fact that Alan Turing was gay has been a well known fact for years, but I was still pleased to see it mentioned in an internationally distributed professional electrical engineering magazine column by Andrew Hodges, "Turing and the Test of Time, Celebrating Alan Turing's fundamental contributions to the computer age," IEEE Spectrum, June 2012, p. 8.

"Even so, the revelations of his wartime triumph have rescued the remarkable accomplishments of an unusual genius who combined the highly abstract with the hands-on approach of an engineer. His modern-minded openness as a gay man, one who suffered prosecution and punishment in 1952, has also attracted great attention. Alan Turing is a hero of the theory and practice of computer science. Adding his roles in the human dramas of war and sexuality, he has achieved a special place in history."
(Quoted from Andrew Hodges, "Turing and the Test of Time, Celebrating Alan Turing's fundamental contributions to the computer age," IEEE Spectrum, June 2012, p. 8)

Not many years ago, I am sure that any reference to Alan Turing being gay would have been censored by the editor ostensibly for being irrelevant and inappropriate for a professional engineering magazine. I compliment the editor and see this editorial decision as another sign of progress.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

OSU professor recognized equality hypocrisy decades ago

1942 Letter signed by Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg stored in the personnel files stored in the OSU archives, Corvallis, Oregon

PHOTO: Letter signed by Oregon State University Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture W. Dorr Legg from the original paper OSU personnel files that are now stored on microfiche in the OSU Archives, Corvallis, Oregon. The letter, dated 1942, was requesting a sabbatical leave to allow Dorr to spread his "Christian Science" religious beliefs to soldiers at Camp Adair north of Corvallis, Oregon during World War II. Legg was a cofounder of the 1950s homophile political movement for homosexuals and the present-day Loc Cabin Republicans. (See Thomas Kraemer, "Corvallis, Oregon State University gay activism 1969-2004," posted June 2010 and my previous posts:

Below is my letter to the editor in response to a still too common gay bashing letter by Kevin Taylor, "Letter: Why no fight for the rights of the 'polyamorous'?" Gazette-Times Posted: Tuesday, May 29, 2012:

Kevin Taylor's May 20 letter insinuated that marriage equality supporters are being hypocritically silent about laws against "polyamorous" relationships, such as the plural marriages supported by a small minority in presidential candidate Mitt Romney's LDS Mormon church. (Editor's note: The LDS church long has outlawed such marriages).

Marriage equality supporters are silent about polygamy, (and the issue of men marrying dogs, as raised by former presidential candidate and senator, Rick Santorum), because they are only asking for equal treatment under the law as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Marriage equality supporters only want civil marriage laws applied equally to any two citizens of legal age. They are not asking for acceptance or a new "special right" to polygamy or bestiality.

It is hypocritical of intelligent Republicans to defend the U.S. Constitution while opposing marriage equality. This hypocrisy was recognized decades ago by Professor W. Dorr Legg, a religious conservative who started teaching at Oregon State University in the 1930s. (Source: OSU Archives).

In response, Legg founded the present-day gay Log Cabin Republicans organization to defend equality.

(Quoted from Thomas Kraemer, "Letter: Same-sex marriage support isn't support of polygamy, bestiality," Gazete-Times, posted Monday, June 4, 2012)

For an authoritative and explanation of the recent marriage equality legal battles, see:

Some related editorials and letters:

Saturday, June 2, 2012

OSU LGBT Services Jeff Kenney replaces Steven Leider

Headline 'Queer studies position opens up for first time. For first time in OSU history, OSU seeks out new Queer Studies faculty' Barometer, Feb. 17, 2012

PHOTO: Oregon State University front page story by Alex Hilborn, "Queer studies position opens up for first time. For first time in OSU history, OSU seeks out new Queer Studies faculty," Barometer, Feb. 17, 2012, p. 1, 3. Allison Davis-White Eyes, Director of American Indian Initiatives in Intercultural Students Services, previously said there where three candidates for the position of the Office of LGBTQ Outreach and Services who came to campus in March. (See my previous post OSU School of Language, Culture and Society is perfect for OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund (2/19/12)). Note that this new academic group at OSU is perfect for the multi-million dollar research fund that I set up a few years ago with the OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund Agreement for research concerning humans or animals with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity.

I was disappointed that a recent stroke left me unable to attend the welcome Reception for Jeff Kenney, New Coordinator of OSU LGBT Services at Oregon State University. (See OSU directory listing Jeffrey M Kenney Coord-LGBT Svcs & Outreach Intercultural Stdnt Svcs) Kenney replaced Steven Leider who decided to become a Graduate Teaching Assistant pursuing a Master of Arts in the Interdisciplinary Studies Program of the Oregon State University Women Studies Department led by Susan Shaw. (See my previous post OSU School of Language, Culture and Society is perfect for OSU Foundation Magnus Hirschfeld Fund (2/19/12))

Steven Leider brought much enthusiasm to the job and was instrumental in starting up the OSU Pride center and making it part of OSU's ongoing educational programs. I expect Jeff Kenney will be able to take it to the next level.

CORRECTION 6/7/2012: The above paragraph in my original posting failed to mention that the OSU Pride center had been opened in 2004, a year before Steven Leider had arrived at OSU and became responsible for starting up the OSU Office of LGBT Outreach & Services. It is well documented elsewhere that the OSU Pride Center was the creation of students with the assistance of professional faculty Robin Ryan, Beth Reitveldt, and Linda Paschke. I apologize for failing to credit the team effort that created the OSU Pride center (including President Ed Ray who cut the ribbon to open the OSU Pride Center), but I stand by my original observation that every student I've talked to has credited Steven for being instrumental in helping to establish the OSU Pride Center as an ongoing institution that will live on as students come and go.

Hopefully, I will recover enough to be able to stop by campus and meet Jeff Kenney this summer. The email announcement for Jeff Kenney's welcoming party said:

"Please join Intercultural Student Services and the Pride Center in welcoming Jeff Kenney to Oregon State University as the Director of LGBT Outreach and Services with a welcome reception! The reception will be held on June 1, 2012 from 3-5pm in the Memorial Union, room 206 Asian Pacific-American Room. Jeff is joining us from North Carolina where we worked at Clemson University as the Associate Director of Diversity Education with a specialization in Intergroup Dialogue and Queer Student Support Services. Jeff holds a Masters in Counselor Education and a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Nebraska, Kearney. He comes to us bringing four years of housing experience as a Resident Director at Clemson University and a Hall Director at the University of Michigan. His research interests include cultural micro-aggressions, emotional and cognitive development of peer dialogue facilitators, and professional implications regarding practitioners of white identity development. Jeff was born and raised in Omaha NE...always a Husker...excited to be a Beaver!!" (Quoted from forwarded email received May 31, 2012 by DJ Zissen, International Admissions Assistant, Office of International Admissions)

Nebraska holds a special spot in my heart because every year my family would stop in Kearney to stay overnight on our way to Grandma's house. Also, when I was still majoring in Fine Arts and wanting to do computer animation (decades before anybody actually did computer animation) a small art studio and animation company in Omaha gave me my first real job in animation, albeit the old-fashioned hand drawn cel type of animation. Of course, I got sidetracked into getting a electrical engineering degree and joining a computer company, Hewlett-Packard, because I had realized that the computer animation hardware and software still needed to be invented in order to do computer animation. Today, Hewlett-Packard computers that I worked on have been used by every major computer animation production house in the world. I never got around to becoming a fulltime computer animator as I had dreamed of doing, but I guess there is still time to do so!

I am also curious about who Kenney worked with at the University of Michigan. Did he know Trevor Hoppe? Trevor is a U of M gender studies grad student whose work I've been following for the last few years.

Just Out is back June 2012

Cover of 'Just Out' June 2012 magazine

PHOTO: after going out of business a few months ago, Portland, Oregon's longtime gay newspaper has come back to life with the June 2012 issue of "Just Out" in a glossy magazine format. (See JO Editor, "Just Out Hits the Stands," blog posted on May 31, 2012 )

Reports of the death of gay newspapers due to the internet have been greatly exaggerated. I am sure "Just Out" will prove there is still a demand for old fashioned print publications that are also available online with value added features.

The new "Just Out" Web page has also done a fairly good job making their new publication more accessible via the internet. I was glad to be able to select and print out HTML text at a bigger size to read because I have low vision (Doing this was nearly impossible with the old Just Out Web site). I haven't had time to check out all of the accessibility features that are supported by their publishing software, but it is way better than it was before.

I've sent "Just Out" the suggestion that they send a stack of copies to the OSU Pride Center and the Grassroots Bookstore in downtown Corvallis. The previous publisher, Marty Davis, did this for years until she couldn't afford to do it anymore. I am sure that many of the magazine's advertisers would want to reach OSU students, most who are from Portland and who often go home for the weekends to Portland. (See the link to places to Pick up your copy of Just Out at these locations) The link to the first PRIDE issue is View "Just Out" June 2012 issue online.

The main electronic copy of the full magazine is displayed with the ISSUU reader viewer that is also used by the OSU Barometer student paper. Unfortunately, it lacks good accessibility features, but it is cool to use. I also appreciated a link to Just Out June 2012 PDF COPY that had the full magazine available for downloading and the file was usable with the standard Adobe low vision reader accessibility features. It looks like all of the articles are also being posted in HTML so that the text can also be selected, printed at any size or read via the other standard accessibility features built-in all Apple and Microsoft internet browsers.